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January 2, 2018

Jayson Tatum

New York, New York

Q. In London you\'ll be facing Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and other talented young players. Do you see games such as this one as an opportunity to showcase your development alongside guys almost at a similar stage of their career?
JAYSON TATUM: Yeah. It\'s going to be fun. It\'s going to be a great game. There\'s a lot of talent on the floor on both ends, especially young talent, and I\'m excited to have the fans over there get to see it up close and personal.

Q. Jaylen Brown recently commented that it\'s a new year so it\'s a new day, so starting in January is like starting the season all over again. What are you going to do as a team going forward knowing that the Cavs and Raptors are chasing you down to take the No. 1 spot in the East?
JAYSON TATUM: We\'ve got a lot of games left, and now we\'ve got some time off where we can practice and regroup and tighten things up that we need to work on, and take it one day at a time and practice one game at a time.

Q. Your thoughts about how the season has been for you as a player, being a rookie in this league? And you\'re playing the Cavs tomorrow -- your thoughts about playing LeBron again after that interesting opening game of the season?
JAYSON TATUM: I think my rookie year has been going pretty well. Obviously, we\'re winning. That\'s what really matters, and I\'m having fun doing it. And I mean, yeah, we get a chance to play the Cavs again tomorrow and hopefully get them back from the first game of the season.

Q. Coming over to London next week, what are you most looking forward to doing while you\'re in London other than obviously playing?
JAYSON TATUM: My mom is coming over, so just go find nice places to eat, go sightseeing, walk around. It\'s a little bit warmer over there than it is here, so try to get out of the hotel.

Q. How do you see your position as an NBA player, and what could you do to improve your game?
JAYSON TATUM: I think it\'s been going pretty well so far. Just continue to get better each and every day and just soak up as much information and just learn as much as I can each and every day to try to get better, help the team out.

Q. Will you guys prep any differently to be playing in the UK? Obviously it\'s a different environment than you guys normally play in, in terms of the arena and the fans, that kind of thing?
JAYSON TATUM: I don\'t know. I will have to wait and see if we do anything different in practice or what Brad [Stevens] thinks, but I personally don\'t know.

Q. Which was the biggest adjustment from the college basketball game to the NBA game for you? And did you expect to be so effective shooting from the three-point line?
JAYSON TATUM: No, I didn\'t. I\'ve been working on it a lot, but I didn\'t think I would shoot it this well. And the biggest adjustment is just we play so many more games than we do in college, so you\'ve got to really take care of your body.

Q. Considering how well you are playing, you\'re shooting so well from the three-point line and you\'re definitely one of the best rookies so far in the season, do you have the Rookie of the Year award among your goals for this season?
JAYSON TATUM: Yeah, that\'s always been one of my goals, to win that award. But I think just focusing on team goals first, and if we keep winning, the rest will take care of itself.

Q. You are very consistent since the beginning of the season. How did you accomplish your transition into the NBA one year after college?
JAYSON TATUM: I think playing for Coach K and Duke prepared me. I just carried that over to this season. Just come in every day and work hard and just try to get better.

Q. As we know, you are one of the best defensive units in the NBA right now. How did it transform from when you lost Gordon Hayward to where you\'re one of the best defensive teams in the NBA? And another question is how would you rate Brad Stevens as a coach, and do you think he should be winning this year\'s Coach of the Year award?
JAYSON TATUM: Obviously, when Gordon went down, it was tough. Basically, everybody had to do more on the offensive end and defensive end. We had to come together and still find ways to be effective and win games, and we really triggered in on defense.

We have the best record in the East, and obviously Brad is one of the best coaches in the league. Hopefully we keep winning, and we\'ll see what happens.

Q. Did you expect the success of this team?
JAYSON TATUM: No, I didn\'t. Obviously, when Gordon got hurt, people got more playing time and got more opportunities, and guys just had to step up. From that being the first game of the season, we had to catch on quick.

Q. I want to ask you about Kyrie Irving as a teammate. How is he with the team? What kind of advice does he give to the team when you guys are about to play?
JAYSON TATUM: He\'s a great person. He\'s a great teammate. He\'s always working and leads by example. Any questions that we have, especially younger guys, he\'s always willing to help and show us things and just talk us through film or anything like that. So he\'s just an all-around great teammate.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports


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